Revised with new information as of March 23, 2017

Coyote Communications Technology Tip Sheet Logo

Web Site Design Suggestions for Nonprofits, NGOs,
  Small Government Agencies &
other mission-based initiatives

I am not a web designer. You can tell when you look at my web site that I'm not. My web site - the web site you are viewing now - is oh-so elementary in its design, both because I'm not a web designer and because I want to be able to change any page I want to any time I want to, rather than having to call a web designer and having to wait for him or her to do it for me.

That said, I do have some very strong feelings about web design, and you should too, even if you are not a web designer yourself. You need to understand some standards of good design and be ready to demand them of whomever is going to design your web site, be it an in-house employee, a consultant or a volunteer.

Some fundamentals regarding web site design for nonprofits, NGOs, civil society organizations, government agencies, schools and other mission-based organizations:

To learn WHY as well as how to make web sites accessible, and for extensive links on web accessibility standards, visit Knowbility.Org

Also see Web Design Guidelines for Low Bandwidth. This resource is from Aptivate, an NGO providing IT services for international development.

And check out Codecademy, which offers FREE HTML and CSS lessons that are simple to follow and highly useful for anyone looking to slightly edit or personalize an existing web site. Completely new to code? Lesson 1 will teach you all of the basics, complete with an HTML glossary and "hints" for those who get stuck. HTML Cheatsheet and HTML Dog are also helpful reference sites.

Also see:

For more tips on web site design for mission-based organizations, visit TechSoup.

Also: old versions of your web site will be available at The Internet Wayback Machine / You will be able to achieve at least one iteration of your web site from each year that it's been available on this resource. This is very helpful in retrieving information someone deletes off of the web site and didn't back up. It also helps you create a record of your organization's history. Do NOT let any web designer put coding into your pages so that they will NOT be archived by this resource!


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